Let’s be honest here: this past year has been incredibly tumultuous. We’ve been in and out of lockdown, confined to our homes, and have had limited access to our loved ones. With all of this uncertainty floating around, it’s understandable that many of us have had a hard time staying positive. In fact, studies have shown that since the start of the pandemic, people’s mental health and well being have been adversely affected by the constant shutdowns. These issues were only exacerbated by cold weather and darker days. I don’t know about you, but I know I’ve had a difficult time prioritizing my well being when everything around me seemed so dreary.
The good news is that after MONTHS of bleary weather, we saw the light at the end of the tunnel with Spring Equinox on March 20th. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s something beautiful about every season. Summer brings energy, Autumn represents abundance and Winter is all about comfort. But Spring? Now that’s a season I can get behind - especially since the weather has finally started to cooperate. The Spring season symbolizes a period of rebirth and renewal. Let me paint a picture for you: the snow has melted and the sun is shining; the birds are singing and the days are longer. In short, it’s the start of happier days for all of us!
Now that those dark days are behind us, I think that it’s important to take full advantage of the season. Spring is the perfect time to prioritize your wellness by clearing away what’s stagnant in your life and creating space for new energy. “Spring cleaning” your mind and body isn’t an easy task, but I’ve got you covered! Here are some of my favourite ways to create a happier life this season:
Make space by cleaning your space →
This tip might be a given for most of you, but it’s still really important! If you’re anything like me, you’ve ordered one too many items online this past year and have had to get creative with your storage. I suggest taking a page out of Marie Condo’s book and decluttering your space! Ask yourself: is this item bringing me joy? Do I need it? Can somebody else use this more than me? If some of your possessions aren’t of use to you anymore, I highly suggest donating them to someone in need! Now more than ever, we need to make sure that we are supporting others when we can. Every Spring, I donate clothing, dishes, pots & pans and office supplies to various youth centres, women’s shelters and thrift stores. Not only is it rewarding to donate to people in need, but studies have shown that clearing out clutter in your space can positively affect your mental health!
Switch up your routine →
Please tell me I’m not the only one who’s gotten into the bad routine of working from bed and then watching Netflix while I wait for my DoorDash order. This Spring, I’m trying to nip these nasty habits in the bud and I urge you to try with me! Personally, I’ve found that small attainable changes to my routine have been more sustainable. I’ve started going to bed a bit earlier and have even created a morning routine that I look forward to. For me, waking up to journal, stretch, and do my skincare routine first thing in the morning gives me the energy I need to tackle my day. Once I get accustomed to this routine, I’ll slowly start adding new things until I have a fully formed morning and night routine! I urge you all to figure out what your body needs each day and spend time curating a new routine for yourself that you’re satisfied with!
Soak up the vitamin D →
These sunnier days have been like a double shot of espresso in the morning. After spending 4 months inside, I’m ready to soak up as much sun as possible. It’s recommended that a person get at least 30 minutes a day of sunlight to boost mood and maintain healthy blood levels. We’ve had a few sunny days and I’ve definitely made the most of it by grabbing a coffee and going for long (socially distance) walks with friends! I find that getting a little bit of movement outside makes a huge difference to your mood. I suggest putting on a podcast, going for a socially distanced walk with a friend, or sitting at the park with a good book!
Try a new hobby for fun→
What’s a better way to put a little pep in your step than by trying something new? I’ve personally been getting into cooking and baking more. Now, I’m not going to be cooking next to Gordon Ramsay anytime soon, but I am having so much fun learning! That’s the key: you don’t have to be the best but you do have to have fun. Not everything worth doing turns a profit or becomes a side hustle. This season, I urge you to seek out new activities that just put a smile on your face.
Prioritize yourself →
The pandemic has taught me how important it is to be patient with yourself. Spend time this season giving yourself a little extra love by investing in your mental health. For me, self-care has come in the forms of therapy and journaling. For you, this could be anything from exercise to taking an extra long bubble bath. Whatever you feel like your body needs, remember to be kind to it. We are all a bit uneasy on our feet right now and this is OK! Take your time!
Spring is an exhilarating time with so much promise. When you’re feeling low, stop, breathe, and allow yourself to be swept up in everything this season has to offer. Happy Spring cleaning everyone!